CLIP-ings: April 20, 2018

Internet Governance

Some Criminals Have ‘Right to Be Forgotten’: A UK high court ruled that some–but not all–criminals have a ‘right to be forgotten’ after Google denied a man’s request to remove search results related to his decade-old conviction for conspiracy to intercept communications; the court reached the opposite conclusion in a companion case that also weighed the nature of the crime and whether the petitioner expressed remorse.

SCOTUS Struggles with E-Commerce Law: The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided following a one hour argument in a case that could let states collect sales tax from out-of-state online retailers like Amazon; the case turns on a 1992 decision–holding that states cannot collect state sales tax from online retailers unless they have a physical presence in the state–which some justices believe should be overturned while other justices would rather wait for Congress act.

Privacy

Singapore’s Facial Recognition Lampposts: The Singapore government plans to install cameras linked to facial recognition software on 110,000 lampposts, prompting concern that the technology, which is already in use in other Asian cities like Shanghai and Beijing, could be used to suppress protests, journalists, or political opponents.

Privacy as Art? Chinese authorities shut down an art exhibit featuring the personal data of 346,000 people and accused the artist, Deng Yufeng, of collecting the information through illegal means; the Beijing-based artist, who purchased the data from online brokers, wanted the show to highlight China’s lax data privacy rules.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Digital Geneva Accord? Led by Facebook and Microsoft, more than 30 tech companies signed the “Cybersecurity Tech Accord,” a set of principles that includes a declaration not to aid governments in cyberwar against “innocent civilians and enterprises from anywhere”; Noticeably absent from the signees were Amazon, Google, Apple, and companies from countries associated with cyber attacks like Russia and Iran.  

Russia’s Router Hacking: The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the White House, and the UK’s National Cybersecurity Center issued an alert warning that hackers tied to the Russian government have tried to hack millions of routers and firewalls in attempts to “enable espionage” and facilitate intellectual property theft; however, as some in the intelligence and cybersecurity community quickly pointed out, these are the cyber intrusions commonly practiced by the U.S. government and the NSA..            

Intellectual Property

Stock Photo Copyright Infringement: The U.S. Supreme Court turned aside an attempt by Arizona stock photo company, DRK Photo, to sue McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings for copyright infringement for allegedly exceeding the scope of licenses it purchased on more than 1,000 photos; the stock photo company petitioned the Supreme Court claiming that a November ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals favoring McGraw-Hill misinterpreted the Copyright Act of 1976 and widened a split in the federal appellate courts by ruling that DRK could not sue for infringement of copyrights that it did not own.

‘Facebook For Scientists’ Resolves Copyright Issues: ResearchGate, an online collaboration platform backed by Bill Gates and Goldman Sachs and dubbed ‘Facebook for Scientists,’ partly resolved a copyright dispute with publishers by reaching an agreement with Springer Nature, Cambridge University Press, and Thieme to work together on sharing articles while protecting the rights of authors and publishers; the agreement will streamline the process for notifying ResearchGate of copyright infringement and ensuring that offending material is taken down quickly.

Free Expression and Censorship

Google Resumes Drug Rehab Ads: Google plans to resume advertisements from U.S. addiction treatment centers in July, nearly a year after Google suspended rehab-related advertisements over concerns that disreputable treatment centers were gaming Google’s algorithms to solicit patients; in-person rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, and support groups will be able to advertise after being evaluated by LegitScript for 15 criteria, including criminal background checks, insurance verification, and policies “demonstrating a commitment to best practices, effective recovery and continuous improvement.”

Reversal of Gay Content Ban: Sina Weibo–China’s version of Twitter–reversed a proposed ban of LGBTQ-related content after users criticized the proposal as discriminatory and bombarded the site with #Iamgay hashtags and slogans like “gays aren’t scary”; Weibo announced that they will no longer immediately categorize gay posts as lewd content, but will continue censoring “pornographic, violent, and bloody content.”

On The Lighter Side

A Dog’s Purpose: Dog owners, have you ever wished your pooch was internet famous? Researchers at Nvidia and Cornell University have developed an algorithm to help you with that by transforming pictures of your dog into pictures of a cat.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

Digital Border Reform: The EU Commission proposed a new law that could require tech companies to turn over user data in certain criminal cases to European law enforcement within 10 days or, in urgent cases, six hours, even when stored on servers in another country or outside the EU; officials state that the law is necessary as current legal procedures for obtaining digital evidence lack efficiency, “transparency and legal clarity.”

France’s Key to Prevent Breach: The French government has developed its own encrypted messenger service that will protect communications between top officials and avoid storing data beyond French borders, which occurs with the US’s WhatsApp and Russia’s Telegram; the app was created with “freely available” internet codes and will become mandatory for the entire French government once it passes the testing phase.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Don’t Forget the Little People: A Milan civil court of appeal upheld a 2016 preliminary court ruling that Facebook committed copyright infringement and “parasitic appropriation” when it released a feature that allows users to locate restaurants and other sites just two months after the Plaintiffs unveiled their location-finding app in the Facebook app store.

Bring Kitchens Back to Life: This year’s Milan Design Week features fresh design ideas, including a Samsung oven that not only cooks two dishes at once, but also takes remote commands from users and suggests cooking modes based on the dish being prepared.

 


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: April 6, 2018

Internet Governance

Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress: Following revelations that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from 87 million users’ Facebook profiles in order to target voters during the 2016 Presidential election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to testify before Congress on April 10 and 11 to answer questions about how the platform protects its user data.

Microsoft Digital Data Case Moot: Microsoft and the federal government have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a high-profile data privacy case as moot following a Congressional re-write of the Stored Communications Act, which now says that a “provider of electronic communication service” shall comply with a court order for data “regardless of whether such communication, record or other information is located within or outside of the United States”; the case asked whether Microsoft had to comply with a court order to produce emails even though the data was stored abroad on a Dublin server.

Privacy

Social Media Visa Screen: The State Department proposed a rule that would require all visa applicants to the United States to list their social media names for the last five years on their visa applications; the new proposal would affect an estimated 14 million people and cover 20 social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, China’s Sina Weibo, and the Russian social network VK.

Grindr to Stop Sharing HIV Status: Dating app Grindr announced that it will stop sharing users’ HIV status with third party analytics companies following revelations that it provided two companies with some of the information that Grindr users include in their profiles, including HIV status and “last tested date”; the app’s chief security officer defended the data-sharing practice, arguing that the two companies are simply tools to help apps like Grindr function better and the information was not shared to make money.  

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Malaysian Central Bank Hack Attack: The Philippine central bank warned local financial institutions to be on high alert following a cyber attack at the Malaysian central bank where hackers tried to steal money using fraudulent wire-transfer requests; though the Malaysian central bank says that no funds were lost in the attack, the Philippine alert is part of an information sharing protocol developed in response to the 2016 theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank that was deposited into several Manila-based accounts before disappearing.

Breach Notification Finally in All 50 States: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a data breach notification law that will go into effect May 1 and require organizations and agencies to notify data breach victims within 45 days; the law–which allows the Attorney General to fine violators up to $5,000 per day and file lawsuits on behalf of the breach victims–makes Alabama the 50th and final state to put a breach reporting law on the books.            

Intellectual Property

Copyright Protection of Tattoos? U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan rejected a request to dismiss a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. over its depiction of copyrighted tattoos on LeBron James and other NBA stars in the popular NBA 2K video game, stating she needed a better understanding of how the game is “generally played” before deciding whether its “realistic” depiction of the tattoos licensed by Solid Oak Sketches amounted to fair use.

Google May Face Billions in Damages: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a 2016 jury verdict and held that Google’s unauthorized use of Oracle’s Java development platform to create the Android operating system was not protected under fair use, possibly making Google liable for billions of dollars in damages; Judge Kathleen O’Malley did not find fair use because no reasonable jury could find that what Google copied was not qualitatively significant, Google’s development of Android robbed Oracle of the ability to make money from its Java SE platform for mobile devices, and Google’s use of the code was not transformative since Google used the copied code for the same purpose as Oracle–to help developers create Java programs.

Free Expression and Censorship

Malaysia Bans Fake News: Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government secured a majority in parliament to pass the Anti-Fake News 2018 bill, which would punish citizens on social media or those working at a digital publication for spreading fake news with fines of up to 500,000 ringgit ($123,000) and a possible prison sentence of up to six years; critics worry the bill may impede free speech ahead of elections and censor discussion of the prime minister’s involvement in a multibillion-dollar scandal.

No More CryptoMail: Mailchimp updated their acceptable use policy, shutting down accounts that send newsletters promoting the sale of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings in order to halt “scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices” within its email platform.

On The Lighter Side

Can’t Touch This: To combat a spate of cactus thefts, Saguaro National Park in Arizona has embedded microchip IDs in hundreds of saguaro cacti to help identify stolen plants.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

France Plans for Boost in AI: President Macron announced a $1.5 billion investment in AI research and funding in France; Macron stated that a more “proactive” approach to data sharing would allow companies and researchers to develop specialized algorithms for the benefit of their industries, however, they will have to also adhere to the GDPR’s new privacy rules, which draw a line between data aggregation and intrusion.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: March 16, 2018

Internet Governance

Right to Repair: A California state lawmaker, Susan Talamantes-Eggman, announced that she plans to introduce right to repair legislation, which would require companies like Apple, Microsoft and Samsung to sell replacement parts and tools, make repair guides publicly accessible, and make diagnostic software available to independent shops; Talamantes-Eggman says that the onus is on Apple, which has previously lobbied against right to repair bills in states like New York, “to explain why we can’t repair our own things and what damage or danger it causes them.”

Crypto Ad Block: On the heels of Facebook and Reddit, Google announced a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements in order to stop promotions that it sees as “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices”; the policy, which will go into effect this June, prompted an immediate nine percent dip in Bitcoin’s value.

Privacy

Face Value: The video boards around many NASCAR race tracks use facial analytics software to scan viewers’ faces for valuable data on age, gender and how long audience members are looking at the screen; while the use of facial recognition software in video boards is a recent phenomenon, digital collection of demographic data has occurred at sports facilities in the past, especially at venue entrances.

Unfair Share? The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office required WhatsApp to sign an agreement declaring that it will not share EU user data with its parent company, Facebook, before the GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018; other European countries have also expressed concerns about the company’s data sharing, including France which ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing user data last December.  

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Yahoo! Breach: A federal judge ordered that Yahoo! must face a lawsuit alleging the company reacted too slowly to data breaches that compromised the personal information of 3 billion Yahoo! users; the judge wrote that the “Plaintiffs’ allegations are sufficient to show that they would have behaved differently had defendants disclosed the security weaknesses of the Yahoo! Mail System.”

Intellectual Property

Wixen v. Spotify: As Spotify prepares for its IPO, the company is facing a $1.6 billion copyright infringement lawsuit from Wixen Publishing, a music publisher representing Tom Petty, Steely Dan, Neil Young, and other popular musicians; the complaint states Spotify repeatedly failed to acquire “mechanical licenses to reproduce and distribute musical compositions on its service.”

Free Expression and Censorship

Crackdown on Hate Speech: Despite receiving criticism for spreading hate speech in Myanmar, Facebook banned Britain First, an anti-Muslim political group, from its platform for violating rules designed to stop the incitement of hatred against minority groups; the ban comes a week after two Britain First’s leaders were convicted of hate crimes and months after President Trump retweeted the group’s anti-Muslim videos.

Right to Political Criticism:  The European Court of Human Rights held Spain wrongfully convicted two Catalans for publicly burning a photograph of the king and queen, stating that the act was justifiable political criticism and could not be “reasonably construed as incitement of hatred or violence”; the Spanish law banning the “glorification of terrorism” has also led to the arrest of social media users, rap musicians, filmmakers, and even two puppeteers, raising criticism from Amnesty International that the law was being used as part of a sustained attack on the freedom of expression.

Censorship on Ice: After supporters of Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak painted the ice on a frozen river in St. Petersburg with an anti-Putin slogan, the government agency Roskomnadzor ordered news groups to censor the contents of the message on ice in any reporting on the incident.

Practice Note

Arbitration through Blockchain: Miami Blockchain Group revealed the Smart Arbitration & Mediation Blockchain Application, the first blockchain application being developed specifically for the international dispute resolution community, at the 2018 Global Legal Institute for Peace Conference at the University of São Paulo; the developers claim that the first-of-its-kind blockchain application could help make international arbitration quicker and less expensive.

On The Lighter Side

The Art of the Troll:  Researchers from Stanford University confirmed what every Reddit user already knows: conflicts in Reddit forums follow a reliable enough pattern that they can be predicted before they happen.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Vatican Hosts Hackathon:  Last weekend the Vatican hosted VHacks, a 36-hour hackathon where a diverse group of participants focused on finding solutions to enhance social inclusion, promote interfaith dialogue, and help migrants and refugees obtain resources—issues prioritized by Pope Francis’ pontiff since the start of his papacy five years ago.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: March 2, 2018

Internet Governance

House Passes ‘Sex-Trafficking’ Bill: A bipartisan coalition of House representatives passed a bill—“Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA)”—that would allow criminal and civil actions against websites that violate federal sex trafficking laws; proponents of the bill argue that it will reduce child sex trafficking, while critics, including sex worker advocates, contend that the bill limits free speech online.

FTC Loophole Closed: A federal court ruled that AT&T is subject to the jurisdiction of the FTC despite the company’s arguments that it is a common carrier and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the federal agency; the ruling allows the FTC’s lawsuit against AT&T to proceed and affirms the FTC’s authority to regulate broadband providers even when they offer separate common carrier services like landline or mobile phone service.

Privacy

Over 2 Million Links Forgotten: Google revealed in a company transparency report and research paper that it received requests to remove over 2.43 million URLs from its search results following the 2014 Court of Justice of the European Union “right to be forgotten” ruling; the “right to be forgotten” allows Europeans to request that search engine companies remove search results relating to their name if the information is “inadequate, irrelevant or excessive in relation to the purposes of the processing.”

Facebook Facial Recognition: A new Facebook notification alerts users to the platform’s increasingly comprehensive facial recognition features and directs them to a privacy page that details how to opt out of the system; the company’s notification comes on the heels of a federal ruling that Facebook will be subject to a class action lawsuit regarding its biometric data gathering and storage program.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Equifax Breach Continues: Equifax revealed an additional 2.5 million Americans were affected by last year’s massive data breach, bringing the grand total to 147.9 million people; the company said the newly identified consumers were not included in the original count because their social security numbers were not stolen—just their partial driver’s license information.  

Chinese iCloud Encryption: Last month, Apple announced that it will hand over management of its Chinese iCloud data to a Chinese state-owned firm called Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co. in order to comply with new laws; Apple will also hold iCloud encryption keys for Chinese users in China itself, raising new concerns about government access to users’ data. 

Intellectual Property

Fox News v. TVEyes: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that media-monitoring service TVEyes violated copyright law by allowing its customers to watch video clips from Fox News, reversing a lower court’s decision that found TVEyes’ service was fair use; TVEyes failed to prove that its service was protected by the fair use doctrine because its redistribution of Fox News’ programming makes all of Fox’s copyrighted audiovisual content available to TVEyes’ customers and it “deprives Fox of revenue that properly belongs to the copyright holder.”

Free Expression and Censorship

China’s Social Media Crackdown: After the Chinese government announced its proposal to remove an article in its constitution that limits presidential terms to two five-year terms, negative reactions sparked the government’s crackdown on social media posts; “I don’t agree,” “migration,” “constitution amendment,” “proclaiming oneself an emperor,” and the letter “N”—the equivalent of the American “X”—were some of the terms blocked on the Chinese internet.

Ban on Hate Speech: YouTube banned the channel of American neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division for violating the site’s hate speech policies, which prohibit the promotion of violence toward or “inciting hatred” against specific races or religious groups; the ban follows criticism of YouTube for previously just demonetizing the propaganda videos and adding a warning about offensive content.

Practice Note

Patent-Agent Privilege: The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of an inventor and upended a trial court’s order that he turn over emails between himself and his nonlawyer patent agent, holding that the communications are privileged under the state’s evidence rules; the Court found that patent agents fall within Texas Evidence Rule 503’s definition of “lawyer” because they are authorized to practice law before the USPTO, thus allowing clients to “invoke the lawyer-client privilege to protect communications that fall within the privilege’s scope.”  

On The Lighter Side

Swab ‘n’ Swipe: An online dating startup that uses DNA to make matches proves it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

CNIL Notifies Health Insurance Fund to Fix Data Security: The CNIL, France’s data protection authority, published a formal notice giving the National Fund for Health Insurance for Salaried Workers (CNAMTS), which handles France’s national healthcare database SNIIRAM, three months to “take any useful measure” to fully protect the security and confidentiality of individuals’ personal medical information after a review of data practices revealed deficiencies in safeguard and access procedures.

Apple 0—French Tax Activists 1: A Paris court dismissed Apple’s request for an injunction and rejected the firm’s request to fine protesters €150,000 or to impose damages if protests against Apple’s tax liabilities occurred again; Attac, a tax campaign group, previously organized demonstrations at Apple stores in Paris and Aix-en-Provence opposing Apple’s avoidance of tax obligations and has plans to continue protesting.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Milan Drone Fashion Week: As fashion week continues in major cities around the world, Dolce & Gabbana used drones, rather than humans, to present a line of handbags during the brand’s fashion show in Milan; the show was delayed by 45 minutes due to a malfunction and guests were asked to turn off the WiFi on their cellphones to eliminate interference issues.

It’s Russia, Again: A recent study by a Madrid-based company concluded that a state-controlled Russian news agency called Sputnik Italia, which promotes an anti-immigration viewpoint, directly affected Italians’ view of immigration last year, prompting concerns about Russian influence on the Italian election this weekend.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: February 16, 2018

Internet Governance

FCC Supports SpaceX Satellite Internet: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urged the approval of an application by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to use low Earth-orbit satellites to provide broadband services to Americans living in rural or hard-to-serve areas where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach.

YouTube’s Stricter Self-Regulation: Following a series of controversial videos by popular vlogger Logan Paul, YouTube released new policy changes that outline the company’s stricter approach to behavior it deems harmful to the YouTube community of “advertisers, the media industry, and…the general public”; though the new policies omit a definition of “harm,” they allow YouTube to stop recommending the channel’s videos and cut off the channel’s ability to serve ads and access premium monetization programs.

Privacy

Privacy Victory or Speech Suppression? YouTube and Instagram may be blocked in Russia unless they comply with a court order compelling the removal of 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube videos that show Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Prikhodko on a yacht with an alleged escort; though the court in Russia’s Krasnodar region held that the videos and posts violate Deripaska’s right to privacy, others, including anti-Kremlin campaigner Alexey Navalny, called the decision an “act of censorship.”

Private Facebook Accounts May Be Discoverable: The New York Court of Appeals ruled in a personal injury case that Facebook posts, videos, and messages “reasonably calculated” to contain “material and necessary” evidence may be discoverable even if the user’s Facebook account is set to private; Chief Judge Janet DiFiore explained that “[s]ome materials on a Facebook account may fairly be characterized as private, but even private materials may be subject to discovery if they are relevant.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

What’s Yours is Mine: The UK Information Commissioner’s Office took down its website following the revelation that it—along with some 4,000 other sites—was infected with a code that uses visitors’ computers to mine the cryptocurrency, Monero; security experts traced the crypto mining script to a website plug-in called Browsealoud, which helps blind people access the web and claims that the bug was only active for four hours on Sunday.  

Olympics Cyberattack: A yet-to-be-identified culprit launched a cyberattack on the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony; the attack downed internet access and telecasts, grounded broadcasters’ drones, and prevented spectators from printing out reservations for the ceremony thereby leading to an unusually high number of empty seats.

Intellectual Property

$6.75m for 5Pointz: U.S. District Judge Frederic Block awarded $6.75 million in damages to 21 artists whose graffiti work at 5Pointz warehouses was whitewashed by the buildings’ owner after a jury found that their artwork was protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act because of their “recognized stature”; the judge awarded the artists the maximum damages possible, stating the buildings’ owner “willfully” ruined the artwork and showed no remorse for his “recalcitrant behavior.”

Copyright Credits on Google Images: In exchange for a multi-year license for Getty Images’ photos, Google agreed to highlight copyright attribution on images and remove “view image” links for pictures to reduce the number of direct downloads; the agreement follows Getty’s competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission, which accuses Google of being a one-stop piracy shop, allowing users to easily download and view copyrighted photos.

Free Expression and Censorship

AI Blocks Extremism: The UK Home Office developed an AI program that can automatically detect 94% of online Islamic State propaganda with a 99.99% success rate by examining video content during the upload process and stopping it from reaching the internet; the tool’s development alerted large tech firms to take more meaningful action against extremist content and can help smaller companies that don’t have the resources to tackle the problem, but it also raises concerns about censorship and legal accountability for content removal.

India’s Press Crackdown: After a journalist in India wrote a story exposing a major privacy breach in a nationwide database of more than a billion Indians, supporters of India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, filed a police complaint accusing the journalist, her newspaper, and the alleged cyber criminals of forgery and other offenses punishable by 30 years in jail; India fell three spots on the World Press Freedom Index to 136, below Afghanistan and Myanmar, because of the growing censorship by Hindu nationalists.

On The Lighter Side

The Sound of Silence: A new app helps diners in San Francisco (and soon New York, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.) avoid noisy restaurants.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

WhatsApp at Work in Advance of GDPR: Seeking GDPR compliance, WhatsApp created a new feature—to be enabled by May 25th and extended to Facebook and Instagram—allowing users to download individual personal data directly from the app to give them “more control over their data…ensuring more protection, transparency, and uniformity”; WhatsApp’s privacy development follows the French data protection authority’s formal notice to the messaging app to stop sharing user data with Facebook, its parent company, within one month.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Cryptocurrency Maybe Not So Secure: Hackers stole 170 million units of Nano, a cryptocurrency forming part of the Italian cryptocurrency exchange, BitGrail, raising concerns about the security of cryptocurrency exchanges, especially lesser known exchanges which may not have proper cybersecurity defenses.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: February 2, 2018

Internet Governance

Faux Followers: Citing concerns about impersonation and deception, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation into Devumi, a company—and the subject of a recent New York Times exposé—that allegedly sells automated Twitter followers, some of them using real users’ identities, to celebrities, businesses, and anyone willing to pay for a bigger social media following.

SEC Halts ICO: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) obtained a court order to freeze the assets of Dallas-based AriseBank and halt its initial coin offering (“ICO”) for failing to file registration or an exemption from registration with the agency; the thwarted ICO represents the first time the SEC has appointed a third-party custodian to secure a firm’s cryptocurrency holdings, which in this case include bitcoin, litecoin, bitshares, dogecoin and bitUSD.

Facebook Sued for Wrongful Death: The family of a Cleveland man whose murder was posted to Facebook is suing the social media platform for negligence and wrongful death, arguing that Facebook’s information and data-mining tools could have stopped the death by alerting police to a video posted just before the fatal shooting, which showed the killer professing his intent to kill the victim.

Privacy

TSA’s Facial Recognition Pilot Program: The Transportation Security Administration launched a three-week trial of facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport where at designated gates, scanners capture the name on a passenger’s digital or paper boarding passes, verify the name with boarding pass data and then, if the names match, compare the passenger’s e-passport photo with a real-time image.

Information Security and Cyberthreats

UK Rules Mass Data Collection Act Unlawful: The UK’s Court of Appeal ruled that parts of the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 are unlawful and held that the powers granted in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act of 2014—which paved the way for the 2016 Act—did not restrict the accessing of confidential personal phone and web browsing records to serious crime, thereby conflicting with EU law by allowing police to authorize their own access without review by a court or independent administrative body.

Intellectual Property

Wrist Watch: The USPTO granted Amazon a patent for a wristband that tracks warehouse workers’ hand movements and location in real time, thus raising employees’ privacy concerns; the proposed system consists of three parts, including various ultrasonic devices placed around the work area, a module to manage data, and the wristband itself, which features a haptic feedback module that buzzes to notify workers about breaks and help workers find items in the warehouse.

We Shall Overcome Copyright Law: Parties in the copyright dispute about the 1960s protest song “We Shall Overcome” agreed to a settlement putting the civil rights anthem in the public domain; the settlement followed a decision in September by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan stripping copyright protection from the song’s most famous verse ruling that the song’s adaptation from an older work—changing “will” to “shall”—lacked originality.

Robo Cop: Ford developed a patent for a police car that can issue tickets without pulling drivers over by using artificial intelligence to find good hiding spots to catch traffic violators and identifying drivers by scanning license plates, tapping into surveillance cameras and wirelessly accessing government records; the patent application states the vehicle can perform “routine tasks,” such as issuing tickets for failure to stop at a stop sign or communicating with other vehicles on the road, but tasks that cannot be automated will be left to police officers who can be inside the vehicle at all times and reclaim control of the car when necessary.

Free Expression and Censorship

Cuba Internet Task Force: Cuba gave the top American diplomat in Havana a note of protest in response to the Trump administration’s creation of a Cuba Internet Task Force composed of U.S. government and non-governmental representatives; the U.S. State Department said that the task force will promote the “free and unregulated flow of information” by “expanding internet access and independent media,” but the Cuban Foreign Ministry counters that the task force is an attempt to violate its sovereignty and carry out interventionist and illegal actions.

Practice Note

Court Swipes Left: A California appellate court reversed a lower court’s dismissal of an age discrimination lawsuit against Tinder, stating that the company’s variable pricing for Tinder Plus, which charges more for users over 30 years old, is discriminatory because without a strong public policy justification, the pricing makes an “arbitrary, class-based generalization” about older users’ incomes, in violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Unfair Competition Law.

On The Lighter Side

A Wealthy Sourpuss: The Grumpy Cat wins a $710,000 payout in a copyright and trademark lawsuit.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

GDPR Guidance: With less than 100 days until mandatory compliance, the European Commission published a guidance to aid all stakeholders to prepare for the GDPR while national data protection authorities, such as the CNIL in France, have been advising organizations, citizens, and businesses on what changes to expect and how to adapt; the Commission’s guidance urges member states to provide financial and human resources to national authorities, announced a Commission website dedicated to compliance guidelines, and designated €3.7 million to help with compliance—€1.7 million to fund data protection authorities and to train data protection professionals, and €2 million to support national efforts in reaching out to businesses.

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

Cryptojacking, A New Threat: Hackers targeted YouTube users in Japan, Taiwan, France, Italy, and Spain to mine cryptocurrencies without the users’ knowledge via Google’s Double Click advertising software; although Google confirmed the removal of the compromised ads, the threat of cryptojacking remains a very serious problem.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

CLIP-ings: January 19, 2018

Internet Governance

The State of Net Neutrality: A coalition of twenty-two attorney generals around the country filed a petition for review of the FCC’s recent repeal of the net neutrality rules arguing that the FCC’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion” and that it preempted state and local laws.

Revenge Porn Damages: In a landmark civil privacy suit, the United Kingdom’s High Court of Justice awarded American YouTube star Chrissy Chambers substantial damages against an ex-boyfriend for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, and harassment, after he uploaded videos of the couple having sex to a porn site.

Privacy

Face-Off: The wildly popular Google Arts & Culture app, which matches users’ selfies to historical artworks, is blocked for many residents of Texas and Illinois because of state privacy laws that ban the collection of biometric data, such as “face geometry,” without a user’s consent.

Health App Data = Murder Evidence? In Germany, Apple’s Health app—which records a user’s steps, nutrition, sleep patterns and heart rate—provided critical evidence in the trial of a refugee accused of killing a medical student by locating the accused’s movements, and recording two spikes in physical activity on the day in question, which the app identified as “climbing stairs.”

Information Security and Cyberthreats

Lebanese Spy Agency Phone Hack: Mobile security firm Lookout and digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported this week that Lebanon’s intelligence service may have used phishing attacks to turn the Android smartphones of thousands of targeted users into monitoring devices through which they could steal victims’ data undetected.

Lawmaker Requests Briefs on Microchip Flaws: Ongoing concern about the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in microchips that could allow hackers to steal data from most computers and devices prompted California Representative Jerry McNerney to request briefings on the vulnerabilities from microchip makers including Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices, and Softbank-owned Arm Holdings.

Intellectual Property

Competition Over Digital Movies:  After Disney’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block Redbox from selling digital movies at its kiosks, Redbox filed an opposition to the injunction arguing that the case is Disney’s attempt to diminish competition for its digital streaming service and invoking the first-sale doctrine as support for the lack of merit in the suit.

TWiT v. Twitter: Internet broadcaster This Week in Tech (“TWiT”) sued Twitter alleging Twitter breached written and oral agreements and is infringing on TWiT’s trademark by setting plans to deliver original, premium video content exclusively from its platform; in its suit TWiT alleges that in 2007 Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams agreed with a TWiT creator that Twitter would not expand into audio or visual under its brand, and thus allowed both brands to co-exist.

Free Expression and Censorship

Phillipines’ Press Crackdown: The Philippines’ government revoked the corporate registration of Rappler, an independent online news site that has reported aggressively on President Rodrigo Duterte’s troll army and police abuses in the government’s war on drugs, further emphasizing the issue of press freedom in the Philippines.

Practice Note

Ninth Circuit Ruling on Automated Downloads: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held this week in Oracle v. Rimini Street that the download of online data in violation of the host’s terms of use did not violate California’s Comprehensive Data Access and Fraud Act.

On The Lighter Side

Drone Saves Lives: A drone used for shark-spotting saved two swimmers caught in Australian rough seas by tracking the stranded duo a half-a-mile from shore and dropping them a flotation device.


Information Law News From CLIP-ings International Correspondents Around the Globe

This academic year, former CLIP-ings Editorial Fellows studying abroad are reporting from time-to-time on current local news and developments in the field of information law!

From Victoria Loeb – Paris, France:

5G Test Phase: Arcep, France’s telecommunications regulator, will begin issuing temporary authorizations to use 5G-related frequencies to gather information on the “benefits and usage” of the mobile internet; the country’s five largest telecom operators purchased permits to be the first to use the frequencies, but Arcep’s chairman wants to avoid a “hasty allocation” without fully understanding the new technology.

Au Revoir, English Tech: Resisting the ubiquity of English words in the French language, the Journal officiel de la République française published alternatives to tech-related phrases such as “dark net” (“internet clandestin”) and “hashtag” (“mot-dièse”); most recently, the Commission for Enrichment of the French Language recommended use of the term “mobile multifunction” instead of “smartphone.”

From Meghna Prasad – Rome, Italy:

No Pictures Please! As part of divorce proceedings involving the boy’s parents, a Roman court held that the mother is subject to a €10,000 fine if she posts Facebook pictures of her 16 year-old son without the son’s consent; under Italian law, privacy and publicity rights of an image’s subject place limits on the copyright holder’s exclusive rights.


Job and Fellowship Opportunities

From time-to-time, CLIP-ings will highlight career opportunities in the information law field. Please note the following:

Summer 2018 Law, Policy & Technologist Intern at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)

Summer interns work closely with CDT policy experts, technologists, and attorneys on an array of civil liberties and international human rights issues related to technology and the internet, including online free expression, electronic surveillance, digital copyright, cybersecurity, internet governance, and consumer privacy.

For more information see here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until March 15, 2018.

Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is hiring a communications associate, policy counsel and policy fellow.

The Future of Privacy Forum brings together industry, academics, consumer advocates, and other thought leaders to explore the challenges posed by technological innovation and develop privacy protections, ethical norms and workable business practices. The positions may be done on a part-time basis by current law students or recent graduates.

For more information about the specific positions, follow the links directly above.

Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAT*) Conference is looking for volunteers.

The FAT* Conference, which brings together researchers and practitioners interested in fairness, accountability, and transparency in socio-technical systems, is looking for student volunteers to help with check-in, registration, and other logistics. There may also be an opportunity to prepare a write-up of the conference. Volunteers will be able to attend both days of the conference for free.

The conference will take place on February 23-24 from 8 AM-5 PM at NYU Law School.

If you’re interested in serving as a student volunteer, please send Amanda Levendowski (levendowski@nyu.edu) a short email expressing your interest, providing your availability during the conference, and saying a few words about why you’d like to be a student volunteer by Friday, January 19 at 8 PM.

ATRIP Essay Competition 2017 for Young Researchers in Intellectual Property Law

ATRIP is currently accepting essays for its annual competition for young researchers in intellectual property law. The paper may pertain to any topic related to intellectual property law.

For more information see here. Entries should be submitted to admin@atrip.org  no later than February 15, 2018.

Please feel free to send us any position announcements at CLIP@law.fordham.edu CLIP@law.fordham.edu.


Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

N. Cameron Russell
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP

Idalys Núñez
Dean’s Fellow, Fordham CLIP

Erin Shahinfar
Subrina Chowdhury
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP

Correction: January 25, 2018
In an earlier version of this post, in the portion titled “No Pictures Please!,” we erroneously stated that “under Italian law, the image’s copyright belongs to the subject rather than the photographer.” Although Italian law does provide copyright ownership to the author of a photograph, privacy and publicity rights of the subject place limits on exclusive rights of the copyright holder.